Free Bird
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1975 Free Bird 45

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me
For I must be traveling on now
Cause there`s too many
Places I`ve got to see

1975
19
Year
Peak Chart Position
  • peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1975
  • B-side: "Down South Jukin'"
  • Hot 100 chart debut: Nov 23, 1974
  • the song was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • ranks #193 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • from Lynyrd Skynyrd's debut album, (pronounced 'l?h-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) (1973)
  • the second of five Top-40 singles to chart on the Hot 100 for Lynyrd Skynyrd in their career
  • a live version of "Free Bird" charted in 1977 peaking at No. 38
  • on the record:
       Ronnie Van Zant - lead vocals
       Allen Collins - lead guitar, acoustic guitar
       Gary Rossington - slide guitar, rhythm guitar
       Ed King - bass
       Billy Powell - piano
       Bob Burns - drums
       "Roosevelt Gook" (producer Al Kooper) - organ, mellotron
  • written by Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant; guitarist Allen Collins has stated that his then-girlfriend, Kathy, whom he later married, asked him, "If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" - it became the opening line of "Free Bird"
  • Ronnie Van Zant: "the lyric content of 'Free Bird' is based on the idea of you know everybody bein' free - to me there's nothin' free-er than a bird just flyin' wherever he wants to go and that's what this country is all about and us bein' free and I think everybody wants to be free"
  • guitarist Gary Rossington: “‘Free Bird’ was actually one of the first songs we ever wrote. Allen (Collins) had the chords for the pretty part in the beginning, two full years, but Ronnie (Van Zant) kept saying that because there were too many chords so he couldn’t find a melody for it. We were just beginning to write and he thought that he had to change with every chord change. Then one day we were at rehearsal and Allen started playing those chords, and Ronnie said, ‘Those are pretty. Play them again.’ Allen played it again, and Ronnie said, ‘Okay, I got it.’ And he wrote the lyrics in three or four minutes—the whole damned thing!
  • produced by Al Kooper
  • recorded April 3, 1973 at Studio One, Doraville, Georgia
  • length: 9:06 (album), 4:41 (single), 3:31 (radio edit)
  • MCA Records label
  • it has become something of a running joke for audience members at concerts to shout "Free Bird" as a request to hear the song, regardless of the artist/group or style of music that is being performed
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